What is Field Service Management?
Every day in a field service organization is busy – whether it’s scheduling sales meetings or inspecting and repairing equipment or managing the employee experience. That’s why it’s critical to have a field service management system to track, organize, and streamline the many moving pieces. This system will ultimately become the central location that manages the entire operation.
The goal of field service management is to empower teams to deliver the best service that they can – ultimately making it a memorable customer interaction. Field service management usually entails dispatching workers or contractors to a work site, where the teams are responsible for installing, maintaining, or repairing equipment, systems, and other assets.
Field service management can be found across a wide variety of industries – essentially any industry that has service technicians or engineers in the field. For example, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, and telecommunications all utilize field service management. As such, there are many types of field service management, including:
- Field service scheduling: arranging employee schedules, service appointments, and work orders.
- Field service dispatch: sending the right field service technicians and specialists to work assignments.
- Work order management: assigning and tracking work orders to the correct team – and usually includes managing the entire process from completion to invoicing.
- Inventory management: keeping up with parts and supplies inventory, from the transfer of products to adjustments and more.
- Field service contract management: overseeing and managing customer contracts and ensuring that all Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are met.
What is Field Service Management Software?
Managing your workforce involves many moving pieces – and field service management software is just one set of tools that can help organizations corral and maintain their resources.
When leveraged effectively, field service management software helps managers and technicians process job orders, automate scheduling and dispatch routines, keep track of service and repair tasks, manage customer service contracts, collect payments, and more. This is the key to maintaining an amazing customer experience – and competitive advantage. Some benefits of field management software include:
- Mobile Field Service Management Software: With cloud and mobile capabilities, this software keeps technicians connected on the job. They can use mobile capabilities to capture images, troubleshoot remote assets, and evaluate the root causes of issues. Some providers also offer AI and AR capabilities, which help with collaboration.
- Enterprise Asset Management Software: This type of software allows organizations to centralize information, as well as maintain and control operational assets and equipment. By doing both of these things, maintenance can be performed both on- and off-premises, which increases uptime and reduces costs, among other benefits.
- Inventory Management Systems: This tool helps organizations optimize maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) inventory. It helps them keep granular tabs on inventory performance, and offers optimized recommendations for inventory and reorder levels.
- Service Intelligence Platforms: This type of platform helps businesses understand their data from a completely holistic standpoint. It analyzes an organization’s data and helps connect the dots of its business. It produces actionable recommendations based on the analyses performed – which leads to memorable CX, reduced customer churn, lowered service costs, an upskilled workforce, and more.
Why is Field Service Management important?
The benefits of effective field service management are numerous. In short, automating field service tasks helps to streamline workflows – ultimately saving critical resources such as time, money, and labor. When done correctly, field service management allows you to:
- Streamline work orders. Field service technicians struggle the most with pre-visit service history reviews, knowledge base access, service manual access, and more. Sound familiar? Field service management software can help by processing job orders, scheduling and dispatching techs, tracking service and repair tasks, and managing customer service contracts – among other items.
- Save thousands of hours every year (and increase revenue!). Time is money, and manual processes can cause work orders to be missed. With field service management platforms, all data is collected and tracked in one platform, helping you to see your business holistically. When you have an accurate overview of your organization, you can make wiser decisions about how to allocate your resources.
- Improve productivity and satisfaction across managers, service teams, and customers. With the right tools, inefficient processes and repetitive tasks can easily be automated – allowing your employees to focus on more challenging, engaging, and satisfying work. Optimal employee experiences lead to happier workforces – and higher retention rates! – which boosts productivity and the bottom line. Additionally, you can track job progress and keep customers updated on their requests, creating a proactive service environment and positive customer experience.
- Keep track of technician performance. Field service management software tracks technician locations, service orders, and performance metrics in real time. Managers can see where their techs are excelling or where they need the most help. This improves field service operations efficiency – especially because managers can anticipate and solve problems before they occur. Having these kinds of metrics on hand also ensures that organizations are meeting and exceeding customer expectations with every job completed.
- Communicate more efficiently with customers and technicians. Between automated scheduling and dispatch, real-time updates, customer service contract management, and payment processing capabilities, field service management software can improve communication between customers and the company. When customers are satisfied, they are more likely to stay on board and spread the word.
History of Field Service Management – and a Look at its Future
Traditional field service management was very manual – think paper forms and log books. But with the emergence of mobile, on-the-go solutions, field service management has been going through its own evolution from analog to digital.
But while digital transformation can be credited with small increases in efficiency, productivity, ROI, and customer and employee satisfaction, it has also introduced more few challenges. As the technology gets even better, customers are demanding more. For example, modern customers want online scheduling, precise appointments, the ability to select a trusted or preferred technician, and constant job status updates and tracking.
That’s why the next evolution of field service management is moving towards artificial intelligence and smart solutions that understand challenges before they become crises, and offer data-driven solutions for every business need.
Field Service Management’s Evolution into Service Intelligence
Today’s organizations want to make laser-focused business decisions. And while field service management solutions are one type of solution, they do have limitations. Artificial intelligence used to be a future goal for most field service organizations, but with the level of user-friendly AI available today, companies can find the right technology to meet their challenges. While not all AI is created equal, there is an all-encompassing solution on the market: Service Intelligence.
Built with the needs of service organizations in mind, Service Intelligence goes beyond traditional business intelligence tools. Using a combination of Service Language Processing and Machine Learning, it provides actionable insights into the state of organizations, enabling service leaders to make data-driven decisions. It also equips technicians with the knowledge they need to diagnose and repair an issue on the first visit, subsequently improving customer interactions and reducing costs. Service Intelligence has the power to show which aspects of your business are working – and why.
It also delivers actionable recommendations based on business priorities and customer needs. And just as importantly, it presents that information in a way that details where executives should make improvements and which areas they should focus on in order to cut down on costs.
Platforms like Aquant understand that each organization has a unique set of needs. However, at their core, each organization is looking to:
- Understand the stories told by their data and use these insights to connect every aspect of their business.
- Predict and mitigate service escalations.
- Deliver amazing customer experiences and reduce customer churn.
- Lower service costs – especially with a looming recession.
- Make every team member a service hero that performs at the level of their top technicians – even if they’re new to the service industry.
Ready to make your service data your greatest asset? Request a demo today.
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